Albert Gleizes

Albert Gleizes (1881 – 1953) was a renowned French artist and art philosopher of the 20th century, notable as one of the founders of the Cubism theory. His contributions to the art world are characterized by a profound exploration of geometry, dynamism, and the representation of the real world.

Albert Gleizes, c. 1920

Cubism and Art Philosophy
Gleizes, along with Jean Metzinger, authored the groundbreaking work "Du Cubisme" in 1912. Cubism, as championed by Gleizes and Metzinger, introduced a radical departure from traditional artistic conventions. It embraced new geometrical forms, dynamic perspectives, and multiple viewpoints, aiming to capture the mobile and ever-changing nature of the world.

Albert Gleizes, 1909, Bords de la Marne, oil on canvas, 54 x 65 cm, Musée des Beaux Arts de Lyon

Gleizes rejected the "Impressionism of form" advocated by artists like Picasso and Braque. Instead, he sought to depict the subject in its absolute order and truth, utilizing bold, overlapping planes of brilliant color.

Influence and Associations
Albert Gleizes was a founding member of the Section d’Or group of artists and actively participated in the first exhibition of abstract art in Paris in 1912. His influence extended beyond France, as he became associated with Der Sturm and is considered to have impacted the Bauhaus movement. Gleizes spent four years in New York, where he introduced the ideas of Cubism and modern art to American audiences.

Evolution of Style
Throughout the 1920s, Gleizes explored a delicate balance between figurativeness and abstraction in his work. He emphasized compositional harmonies in his subjects, believing that rhythmic harmonies transcended subjective responses.

Unique Features of Gleizes' Cubism
Gleizes' Cubism stands out for its dynamism, capturing the speed and rhythm of modern life, the noise of the industrial age, and the rapid advancement of technology. His art is celebrated for its complex harmony, deep creative thought, and clear expression.

The famous avant-garde poet and art connoisseur Guillaume Apollinaire once remarked: "Greatness primarily characterizes the art of Albert Gleizes. He brought innovation to contemporary art, a quality that few artists possessed before him."

Albert Gleizes, 1913, L'Homme au Hamac (Man in a Hammock), oil on canvas, 130 x 155.5 cm, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

 Contributions and Associations
Albert Gleizes was a multifaceted figure in the art world. He was a member of the Society of Independent Artists, the founder of the Ernest-Renan Association, and played a pivotal role in the Abbaye de Créteil. Gleizes regularly exhibited at Léonce Rosenberg's Galerie de l’Effort Moderne in Paris. He was also a founder, organizer, and director of Abstraction-Création.

In addition to his artistic endeavors, Gleizes dedicated substantial energy to writing. Notable works include "La Peinture et ses lois" (Paris, 1923), "Vers une conscience plastique: La Forme et l’histoire" (Paris, 1932), and "Homocentrisme" (Sablons, 1937).

Albert Gleizes' legacy in the world of art is enduring and continues to inspire artists and art enthusiasts worldwide.